Idealism Vs. Practicality In Career Choices: How To Find The Balance (Podcast)


When choosing or pursuing a career, should we base our decision on “idealism” or on “practicality”?

What is the balance between doing what you love, and what can earn you a living? And how do we find this balance?

We explore some answers.

Brought to you by Fortress of the Mind Publications.  This podcast can be found on SoundCloud, YouTube, Google Play, and on iTunes.

To find out more information about idealism and practicality in career choices, you should take a look at my book On Duties.


5 thoughts on “Idealism Vs. Practicality In Career Choices: How To Find The Balance (Podcast)

  1. Very relevant podcast for me at this point in my life. I’m in my early 20s and working my first corporate gig. If there is anyone else out there in their late teens or early 20s reading this I would strongly advise you to follow the advice QC has given here. Especially the parts pertaining to how parents will influence your career.

    When I was a sophomore in college I wanted to drop out and pursue some passions of mine but my parent’s advice was to stay in school. My parents aren’t overbearing and didn’t force me to stay in school. They wouldn’t have disowned me if I dropped out. However, looking back on it I realize that I was seeking their approval to leave school and I never got it.

    Moral of the story? Do not let the lack of approval from your parents guide you in these matters.

    Now that I graduated from school and am unhappily employed my mom has told me that now is the time to pursue my passions and not to work a job that I hate. Maybe she has grown as a parent because now she seems genuinely concerned that I will fuck up my life working a job that I hate. Who knows.

    I’m not necessarily advising young men to drop out of college but I think this lesson can be applied to other situations where your parents are influencing your future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great comment, man. I’m glad the discussion helped. Sometimes hearing things from different people can help “cement” our own ideas. It’s impressive how practical and realistic Cicero’s advice was about this matter…and, as I said, I also liked how James Maverick echoed the same sentiments.


  2. So eloquently put yet again. Apologies for my writing at the time, it was written hastily because I did not want to forget the topic of discussion.

    My own reflections and this current podcast continue to cement the direction I want to pursue in life. Life is short so you might as well do things you enjoy.

    Side note: I have started reading On Duties and it is definitely your best piece yet. As you have already stated in the comment above it is amazing how ancient scholars already provided practical advice on such matters (including the topic on in this podcast). I will definitely take my time with On Duties like you advised and thank you for introducing me to the brilliance of philosophy.

    For now I will carry out some more independent research and see if I can continue to come up with more thought provoking questions at a later date.

    Again, thanks Quintus.


  3. […] If you’re still having great difficulty achieving the goals you set for yourself and being satisfied with them, you should probably ask yourself why you wanted them in the first place. Why do you want more money, more sex, more strength, more knowledge, more travels, or more status? What is the core motivation behind your desire? Is this something you truly want for yourself or is it something that you’ve come to believe is important because the society told you so for years? Do you want to achieve greatness for petty and superficial reasons or to actualize your strive to assert who you are in this world? Are you being idealistic or practical? […]


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